USING SUN POWER
Written by: Solar Energy Industries
Solar thermal systems are renewable energy technologies that convert energy from sunlight into thermal (heat) energy, which can either be used directly as heat energy or converted into electricity.
More than 300,000 solar pool heating systems have been installed in the United States, providing efficient heating to residential and commercial swimming pools around the country.
Solar pool heating payback can be as low as two years and the solar system can extend the swimming season by several weeks without any additional cost (unlike a conventional pool heater).
Solar Water Heating
The U.S. spends more than $13 billion-a-year on energy for home water heating. That is the equivalent of 11.4 barrels of oil per household, more than the amount of oil (in the form of gasoline) burned by a medium-sized automobile driven 12,000 miles.
Over 1.5 million Americans have invested in solar hot water systems for their homes and businesses, with over 94% of these customers considering the investment a wise decision.
The power saved by all the solar hot water heating and pool heating systems currently installed in the U.S. is equivalent to 9 megawatts per year, or the annual output of a typical nuclear powerplant.
A business can realize savings of 40 - 80% on electric or fuel bills by utilizing a solar water heating system to replace its conventional one.
Prices for a complete solar water heating system range from $2,000 to $4,000. The life-cycle cost of a solar water heating system is at least 20% lower than a conventional water heater.
When a solar hot water heating system is included in the financing for a new home, the typical cost of the system ranges from $13 to $20 month and because the system is included in the home's mortgage, the homeowner can take advantage of a federal income tax interest rate deduction.
State Transportation Building - Boston, Massachusetts This roof-mounted solar hot water heater supplies 83 percent of the annual hot water requirements of an 880,000 square foot office building which houses all of the Massachusetts' transportation agencies. The system provides an annual fuel savings of approximately 5,800 gallons of oil which means the system pays for itself in ten years with the money it saves in fuel costs.
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